Emmerdale actor John Middleton nabbed two prizes at the RTS Yorkshire Programme Awards, which were held in Leeds in early July.
Middleton, who has played Ashley Thomas in the ITV soap for the past two decades, was named Best Actor. The judges commended the actor for his “heart-breaking, powerful and dignified performance” in the wake of his character’s diagnosis with vascular dementia.
The actor received one of two RTS Yorkshire Outstanding Contribution Awards awarded on the night. Emmerdale also won a second award, with Maxine Alderton taking home the prize in the Best Writer category.
The second Outstanding Contribution Award went to Carol McKenzie, head of production and facilities at factual indie True North Productions. “There are many shows that would never have made it to the screen without Carol’s drive and passion. She is truly an unsung hero,” said the judges.
Double awards were the trend of the night at the Royal Armouries Museum in a ceremony hosted by Grierson Trust chair Lorraine Heggessey.
Paul Whittington took home the Director – Fiction Award for his work on BBC One’s The Moorside (made by ITV Studios), while the drama’s editor, Ben Yeates, won the Professional Excellence: Drama and Comedy Post-production Award. The two-part series told the disturbing story of the disappearance of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews in Dewsbury.
ITV hit Victoria (Mammoth Screen) also won two gongs: the period drama’s production and design team took home the Professional Excellence: Drama and Comedy Production Award; and Martin Phipps and Ruth Barrett triumphed in the Music and Use of Music category.
The Moorside and Victoria faced strong competition for the Drama Award, and were pipped at the post by four-part Channel 4 drama National Treasure (The Forge). This starred Robbie Coltrane as a much-loved TV comedian accused of rape. “National Treasure was beautiful, film-like and intimate with a fantastic cast and script portraying a difficult and incredibly important story,” said the judges.
ITV Yorkshire’s regional news and current affairs programme, Calendar, performed even better than the double winners, picking up three prizes: the Jo Cox Murder (Best News or Current Affairs Story); the Hillsborough Inquest Verdict (Best News Programme); and Duncan Wood (Best Presenter).
The News or Current Affairs Reporter Award went to Made Television reporter Mark Kielesz-Levine (local channel Made in Leeds TV); while shooting researcher Joe Foley from Air Television was named the One to Watch.
In the factual genre, Hillsborough (Very Much So Productions for BBC Two) took home the Single Documentary Award; The Last Miners (Keo Films for BBC One) was named Best Documentary Series; Our Dancing Town (Twenty Twenty Television for BBC Two) won the Factual Entertainment and Features Award; and Helicopter ER (Air Television for UKTV channel Really) received the Low Cost Factual Award.
The Independent Spirit prize was awarded to Leeds indie Daisybeck Studios for the second year in a row. Arqiva was presented with the RTS Yorkshire Centre Award for its successful stewardship of the Emley Moor Transmitting Station.
In the other Professional Excellence categories, BBC Four’s Flying Scotsman from the Footplate (Roger Keech Productions) won the Factual Post-production award, while The Lie Detective (True North Productions for Channel 4) collected the Factual Production Award.
The Animation Award went to Leeds-based Works for the title sequence on Basketball Champions League (Canal+ and Live Basketball.TV) and Otley’s Ink Films work on the BAFTA Film Awards Trailer 2017 won the Promotion or Commercial Production Award.
The Second Screen Award went to Sheffield digital outfit Joi Polloi for the BBC interactive test What’s My Real Age.